To identify the economic contributions of estates in Scotland, Scottish Land & Estates commissioned a survey of estates in June 2013. The work was carried out by a team from Rural Solutions and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).
The core objective of this work was to capture information on physical and financial outputs of estates of all kinds and sizes in order to increase the knowledge base and evidence on the sector.
The survey received 277 useable responses from estates and landowners that collectively manage 1,251,513 hectares of land, own 7,645 houses and provide 1,563 farm tenancies.
The report demonstrates that rural estates make a major economic contribution to the Scottish economy.
In the report the research team state: “This study provides a substantially enhanced evidence-based understanding of the economic activities, outputs and outcomes of estates in Scotland which deliver a wide range of economic, social and environmental benefits both directly in terms of their own business activities and by enabling investment and business activity by others.”
Luke Borwick, Chairman of Scottish Land & Estates, said: “This study clearly demonstrates the very substantial contribution made by estates. They are part of the fabric of rural Scotland and estate owners want to play their part in ensuring that rural Scotland is a thriving and vibrant place to live and work. We hope this study will show that landowners are part of the solution rather than the problem.
“The study brings much needed hard evidence to a debate about landownership that is frequently not evidence-based.This is a great start to our efforts to gain a comprehensive overview of the role that estates play. The data reported in this study provides robust information on the sample and membership of Scottish Land & Estates—which is a subset of the whole sector—and and further work is needed to get a definitive national picture that can inform ongoing debates.”